The Sitka High School Wolves track and field team swept the boys and girls titles at the Region V Championships Friday and Saturday in Juneau.Wolves’ senior Silas Demmert and sophomore Clare Mullin earned Male and Female Athlete of the Meet honors.
“Our team works hard and I’m not surprised we took so many first-place finishes as we are one of the larger Division II schools,” Sitka coach Jeremy Strong said. “Haines and Petersburg and some of the smaller schools have put in a lot of hard work too and deservedly should receive some recognition. I think regionwide we have had good competition among all schools and it has paid off here in the end. Staying competitive during the season with all schools resulted in some really fantastic times at regionals.”
The Sitka boys totaled 268 points (Haines 110, Petersburg 48, Craig 22, Yakutat 22, Gustavus 10, Skagway 1) and the Sitka girls had 248 (HNS 91, PSG 57, GUS 28, CRG 23).
Strong noted the work Demmert has put in over the past four seasons in track and cross country.
“Miles and miles of road and trails,” Strong said. “Some strong leadership through his performance and demeanor. It is a well-earned award for him. He is such a part of the legacy our seniors leave for the underclassmen.”
Of Mullin he said: “Clare is always the calm in the storm. She is just such a competitor and such a good kid. She really supports all her teammates in ways they need to be supported and has taken ownership of helping such a young team develop.”
On Saturday, Demmert and Mullin impacted the region scoring just as the sun was hitting its peak.
Demmert won the boys 1,600 in 4:37.56 (2. HNS senior Luke Davis 4:41.75; 3. SIT sophomore Connor Hitchcock 4:42.14).
“The pace depends on outside factors, like the heat, or what kind of race it is,” Demmert said. “But today it was definitely go out pretty hard. I was hoping for a PR today but I think the heat got to me and messed up my train of thought and my mental attitude towards the race. But it was fun.”
Demmert also helped the Wolves 4×400 relay win in 3:40.23 (2. HNS 3:48.28; 3. CRG 4:34.26) with classmates Camden Young and Dylan Crenna and junior Dezi Olney-Miller.
Demmert also won the 3,200 on Friday in a PR 9:44.95.
“This is definitely surreal,” Demmert said of his final region meet. “I am kind of in the mindset that it is just going to keep happening but it will be very different next year and the years after that. Now it is my final state coming up. Honestly, I was probably thinking of state too soon but I am ready to compete there. I feel like I haven’t been as competitive as I should be at state the past couple years and I am ready to change that this year.”
Mullin broke from her usual first lap group routine to establish a lengthy lead from start to finish in the girls 1,600 and top a Sitka podium sweep with a 5:16.50 time. (2. SIT senior Anna Prussian 5:39.55; 3. SIT sophomore Marina Dill 5:42.45).
“I definitely enjoy the heat over the rain,” Mullin said. “I think it makes it promising for state in a week. A lot of our girls ran pretty hard in the mile so we’ll see how it all shakes out next weekend. Every race you just have to focus on the best you can do in that moment and we’ll see what kind of competition there is and hope we come out on top.”
Mullin won the 800 later in the meet in 2:18.27 (2. Dill 2:39.19; 3. HNS sophomore Ari’el Godinez Long 2:39.19) and as anchor leg joined Anna Prussian, Dill and freshman Natalie Hall in the Wolves’ winning 4×400 relay team that hit 4:27.11 (2. HNS 4:31.44; 3. PSG 4:59.58). Mullin also placed third in the long jump.
Sitka freshman Adalyna Moore won the girls 100 meters in a personal record 13.17 (2. SIT senior Deszerei Chong 13.60; 2. SIT freshman Emma Heuer) and 200 in a PR 27.80 (2. Heuer 28.34; 3. HNS senior Avari Getchell 28.71)
“I think you let the stress push you,” Moore said of her 100. “Let it drive you to the end and try to stay ahead of everyone else. At state I’ll run my hardest, and if I don’t win, at least I tried and I qualified.”
Moore joined Chong, and sophomores Hayla Trigg and Gwen White to win the 4×100 with 54.90 (2. CRG 58.50; 3. PSG 1:00.61).
Sitka senior Caleb Hutton won the boys 100 and 200 meter sprints in PR times of 11.37 and 24.01, respectively, and freshman teammate Calder Prussian was second in each with 11.86 and 24.43. Hutton’s 100 was a Wolves school record.
“I felt a little tense from yesterday,” Hutton said of giving up a placing to Prussian in the preliminary on Friday. “But I had a work through. I can definitely go faster. I can’t wait until state.”
Sitka freshman Jadelynn Kubik won the girls 400 in a PR 1:08.10 (2. SIT freshman Leilynn Swain 1:09.16; 3. White 1:09.86) and Olney-Miller the boys in 54.11 (2. Young 55.34; 3. Crenna 55.72).
Haines senior Luke Davis won the boys 800 in 2:07.57 (2. SIT sophomore Trey Demmert 2:09.69; 3. SIT sophomore Connor Hitchcock 2:10.80).
“I knew they were going to go out faster than yesterday,” Davis said. “I didn’t want to be in the lead going through the lap but I didn’t want to let them open a gap. So I just stuck with the pack through the first lap and kicked it on the back stretch.”
A pack of four runners led Davis into the second lap.
“So I kicked early on the back stretch,” he said. “Just ate up the back stretch and closed on Trey and Connor and from there it was just all kick.”
Trey Demmert briefly regained the lead for a few steps but Davis kicked again around the last two corners.
“They were out to lane three on that corner so I had to get out around them and back to lane one,” he said. “So then I had to close the gap on Trey and just kick it in hard.”
Sitka’s Calder Prussian, Hutton, junior Matthew Leach and senior Tyler Adres won the boys 4×100 in 48.32 (2. PSG 51.74; 3. CRG 52.66). The Wolves’ Adres, Olney-Miller, C. Prussian and Young won the 4×200 in 1:38.41 (2. HNS 1:40.12; 3. CRG 1:52.31) and T. Demmert, Crenna, senior Hank Maxwell and junior Annan Weiland the 4×800 in 9:28.31.
Sitka senior girls Anna Prussian and Jessica Christner, and underclassmen Dill and Kubik won the 4×800 in 11:20.32 and Wolves’ Chong, Trigg, Kubik and Heuer the 4×200 in 1:55.81 (2. HNS 1:56.56; 3. CRG 2:10.68)
Petersburg junior Hendrick Cumps won the long jump with 19’10.75 (2. HNS senior Eric Gillham 17’10.25; 3. SIT senior Angelo Elefante 17’8.75) and the triple jump on Friday with 39’8.75 (2. SIT freshman Francis Myers 39’2.5; 3. SIT junior Felix Myers 35’8.75).
“I think the weather worked out,” Cumps said after the long jump. “Not too hot, not pouring down rain. I got into a zone in my head and just jumped out there. I think overcast is better than just straight up sun, yeah, just a perfect day for track. For state I need to just focus on speed, keeping my head high and focus on jumping as far as I can.”
Haines’ Gilliam won the discus with 132’5.5 (2. PSG sophomore Erik Thynes 111’10; 3. HNS senior Jackson Long 98’0.5).
Sitka’s Trey Demmert won the high jump Friday with 5’6 (2. Gustavus freshman Phinly Patrick 5’4; 3. Olney-Miller 5’4).
Sitka senior David Davis won the 110 hurdles in 17.94 (2. HNS senior Seth McClurg 18.29; 3. Elefante 19.13) and the 300 hurdles in 46.57 (2. McClurg 47.08; 3. Elefante 47.09).
Sitka’s Hall won the girls 100 and 300 hurdles in 19.30 and 56.24, respectively. Haines sophomore Emma Dohrn won the girls discus with 99’7 (2. SIT senior Karen Alley-Jarquin; 3. Gustavus junior Madeline Wagner 81’6.5), Haines senior Mackenzy Dryden the girls long jump with 14’11.75 (2. Hall 14’10; 3. Mullin 14’7.25).
Afterward, Dohrn said she was hoping to hit 100 feet on a throw, but she was pleased with her first-place effort, which was also a personal record.
Dohrn said while it’s not unusual for her last throw of a competition to be the farthest-flying, she was still surprised by the outcome.
“It felt like it was a flat throw,” Dohrn said after the event, “and I didn’t think it was going to go very far, but then I saw it hit the white line.”
On Friday Wagner won the girls shot with 31’10.5 (2. HNS jr. Gracie Stickler 29’5.75; 3. Dohrn 29’0), Sitka sophomore Ada Parker won the triple jump with 32’0.75 (2. Dryden 31’0.25; 3. SIT senior Jessica Christner 30’2.5) and Gustavus junior Molly Johnson the girls high jump with 4’2 (2. Heuer 4’2; 3. Parker 4’2).
The Sitka unified sport team of senior Jack Mickelson and sophomore Rex Adres won the 100 meters, unified shot put and unified long jump.
When asked what the title meant, and his win in the 100 Mickelson shouted, “Awesome! That was awesome!”
Adres said of his teammate: “He’s just an amazing kid. I couldn’t say anything more.”
The 2023 ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Track & Field State Championships are May 26-27 at Palmer High School.